Capturing Presentation Materials

Like many others, I’m learning a lot from our Grey Lit week. Thanks to everyone who’s contributed, and the outside expertise brought in by Michael Lines.

One topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the effective collection of presentation materials, including in-house presentation series, presentations for marketing purposes, and CLE. From internal training, to the re-purposing of marketing content, to networking and business development, there are so many different ways in which an organization can derive value from these collections. In terms of investing staff time, there should be little question, presentations can be some of the most ROI friendly assets available.

So given the importance of these materials (grey lit? – I’m hoping), I’d like to solicit some tips from other Slawyers on how we may build better collections? Here are a couple of thoughts to get the ball rolling…

  • Grouping Multimedia – From the simple pairing of Speakers Notes with PowerPoint slides, to more extensive groupings which may include handouts, online publications, contextual ‘see also’ references, or pre-defined search links into various related collections, or SH relationships.
  • Vodcasting – Video Casting all of your internal presentations, and offering RSS notification of new materials?
  • Dashboard Presentations – Similar to grouping multimedia, but I’m thinking about the concurrent display of these materials on a web dashboard — eg. watch the video, listen to the audio, speaking notes, etc.
  • Live Feedback? – Could we offer an online notes area for a participant’s thoughts, and then capture the conversations as metadata for enhanced searching at a later date? If we were dealing with a live presentation, perhaps IM could be involved or built in.
  • External Presentations for Professional Development – With Google Video and YouTube becoming so common, should we collect these presentations for internal education purposes?
  • PodZinger? – Can we add keyword searching of our in-house presentations? There’s got to be a behind-the-firewall application for this one!


  1. I don’t have any suggestions on effectively collecting presentation materials. I infer from Steven’s posting that what defines “effective” will depend on what is being collected and what the patrons are looking for.

    I will make an observation on maintaining collected presentation materials in terms of their continuing authenticity. Steven sets out a number of environments or activities that may result in presentation materials. To maximize the ROI on these materials, they need to remain attached to their original context. Otherwise, one might re-use marketing content thinking it was a business development presentation.

    Michael’s posting also made reference to versions. Presumably it would be important to distinguish those presentation materials in draft form from those in final form.

    Considerations of original context and version are critical components to the identity of any document. I would suggest that the more context that accompanies a collected presentation, the more effectively it can be re-used.

    Question: Would copyright become more of a factor in presentation materials than in some other forms of GL? I’m thinking of photographs inserted into a slide deck or incidental images or sounds (e.g., a radio playing) in a video.

  2. I’m not one of the copyright gang around here, but thanks for the insightful comments on retaining a presentation’s context. Excellent points!

  3. Jim, I am thinking you are right, copyright would be something to think about. When I create a slide deck for presentations, I do seek copyright approval when using others’ work. There are a number of photograph and cartoon banks on the web that have explicit use statements for presentations. One would need to think about this when repurposing a presentation, whether additional permission is needed or whether those images need to be removed from the deck. I’ve had people comment that only a librarian would worry about such things, but I feel it is going to become increasingly important to pay attention to this aspect.